As I’ve written elsewhere female figures were not my strong suit in the early years and it wasn’t until I reached my forties that I was able to consistently draw women that didn’t look like linebackers in drag. Part of the progression was just “time in” – as classic animator Church Jones put it: “Every one of us had ten thousand drawings inside and the only way to get rid of them is to draw them out.”
There were two other important factors involved, the first being my Beautiful Saxon Princess. Not only has she served as an inspiring subject to draw over the years, she is an incredibly talented portrait in her own right and double-checks every face I put to paper or wax.
The third factor? There are more ways available now to make women look better. Basic beauty has always been part of the human race but as time and technology progress women are presented in ever-improving ways. The massive explosion in information has given us cosmetics with a more natural feel, clothes that are better tailored, and cameras that do a better job of capturing images.
Is all the progress beneficial? I’m not so sure – I’ve seen some pretty scary Photoshop treatments but at the same time you have to wonder what Sarah Bernhardt or Rita Hayworth would look like in a contemporary photo shoot.